On the Attributes and Influencing Factors of End-users Quality Perceptions in Urban Transport: An Exploratory Analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, ridership - perceptions, operations - frequency


Bus urban transport, Users characteristics, SERVQUAL, Multiple Linear Regression


Attempts to bridge the traditional mismatch between the priorities of local transit operators and end-users in urban bus transport are currently undergoing in the chronically under developed Italian market. This implies the need to embrace new perspectives on public transport management, away from traditional supply-side tailored policies and towards more demand- side oriented approaches. Based on a survey comprising more than 3000 on-board interviews, this paper applies a modified SERVQUAL methodology to investigate quality issues in the Cagliari's urban bus transport system, with the chief aim to discover the extent to which customers’ quality perceptions and expectations are influenced by bus frequencies. In addition, a preliminary Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) model will help identifying which sub-segment of bus users might be advisable to target in order to capitalize on the effect of quality policies put forward by the local transit operator. In doing so, the paper will try to shed some light on those characteristics of the transport service more relevant for the final beneficiaries and help transport operators in identifying their core customers, those towards whom quality and retention strategies should be mainly directed. Finally, even if applied to a local case study, this paper is expected to improve the knowledge of the existing transport demand for bus operators and to offer valuable lessons for public transit agencies worldwide.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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